With a focus on identifying risk factors for cardiovascular disease early enough to improve heart health through lifestyle changes alone, Shakthi Health and Wellness offers patients a simple, non-invasive test called EndoPAT (Endothelial Peripheral Arterial Tone). This test can painlessly and effectively measure the health of your blood vessels by measuring the blood flow in the lower arms and fingers.
EndoPAT looks at the bendability or pliability of your blood vessels and assesses endothelial function, or how well your arteries are able to open and close. The stiffer the vessel, the worse the endothelial function. More compliant or open arteries are less likely to have plaque stick to them, resulting in a lower risk of clogged arteries that lead to heart attack and stroke.
How the EndoPAT Test Works
The EndoPAT test is painless and performed in our office in about 15 minutes. Patients can lie down comfortably while blood flow sensors are attached to one finger on each hand and a blood pressure cuff is wrapped around one arm. The cuff is inflated to briefly slow or stop blood flow to that arm and the hand. The finger sensors will show no blood flow on the finger with the arm that has the blood pressure cuff attached while the finger on the opposite hand will register normal blood flow. After the cuff is deflated, the finger sensor will register how well and how quickly blood flow to the cuffed hand recovers.
It has been found that the blood vessels in the arm react in a similar fashion to the arteries in the heart when they are constricted, making the test an accurate gauge of heart health and risk. If your arm vessels are slow to recover from the test, then it’s a good indication that the coronary arteries are likely to be sluggish as well.
Red Light, Green Light?
The EndoPAT machine will register either a green, yellow or red light with the red light signaling unhealthy blood vessels and a high cardiovascular disease risk. For patients who are yellow or red, we are very aggressive in looking at all markers for cardiovascular disease. At Shakthi, we go steps beyond just the normal cholesterol test.
First, we offer an expanded lipid panel that not only gives us information on cholesterol levels but shows the different types and sizes of particles present in the blood, which provides us with more in-depth information on coronary artery disease risk. We then take a close look at other risk factors such as:
- A poor diet
- High sugar and saturated fat intake
- A sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise
- Stress levels
- Inflammation in the body and even food sensitivities
- Sleep deprivation and disturbances such as sleep apnea
By looking at the whole picture and assessing all risk factors for heart disease, we develop a comprehensive plan for making significant lifestyle improvements [Read: Heart Healthy in 5 Simple Steps]. This comprehensive approach is what makes Shakthi unique.
The EndoPAT test can be repeated as necessary so we can monitor a patient’s progress through the prescribed lifestyle changes. Many people who follow the plan we design find that, over time, they move from red to yellow or yellow to green with just lifestyle changes and no medication.
I see patients who say, “Why bother? Heart disease is in my family, I have diabetes, etc…” I can’t stress enough that you should bother to make positive changes. There is a high lifestyle component that affects cardiovascular disease even if you are predisposed to it.
The way you live can affect how you live. You can take control of your heart health.
Call today to learn more about the EndoPAT test and the Shakthi focus on lifestyle changes for a heart healthy life.